Networking Tips and Resources
Networking is a critical skill for green leaders to have. Here you'll find our 3 steps to successfully networking, including events we recommend checking out, questions to ask when talking with people, and an email template!
Networking is beneficial for many reasons. One of the most frequently discussed reasons is career building - looking for jobs and increasing the likelihood of someone hiring you. When getting involved in the climate action community, networking can help you to:
Find out new information and learn
Find a mentor
Get involved in climate action groups and initiatives
Get advice on your projects
Build partnerships and support for your initiatives
Step 1: Identify who is currently part of your network
If you’re new to the world of networking, a good starting place is thinking about who is currently part of your network. For example:
Facilitators/coaches from your extracurricular activities
If you are working or volunteering, your coworkers or fellow volunteers
Once you take a look at your immediate network, think about the connections those people have - Where do your family members work? What other groups are your classmates part of? Where else do people volunteer? If there is someone in that extended network that you would like to connect with, you can move onto step 3! If there isn’t someone that jumps out, check out step 2 for ways to find new contacts.
Step 2: Find new people to network with
A great way to meet new people is by attending events. Here are a few events that we recommend checking out:
This Summit features opportunities to learn about the environment and climate change from experts in the field, connect with like-minded youth, and start taking action to address climate change through implementing climate solutions and advocating for policy change.
This Summit provides educational programming to help engage more students in conservation, supports youth action projects, and brings youth together to bring youth voices forward when it comes to decision making in the Canadian Rockies.
SES is a multidisciplinary forum where students can engage with their peers, as well as leaders in the energy industry to learn, collaborate, and take action on energy.
Inside Education hosts multiple summits for youth annually. Each summit is centred around a different natural resource and provides youth with opportunities to learn and connect.
The Environmental Gathering is a place to consider new perspectives, develop skills, connect with peers, and learn from experts as we boldly navigate Alberta’s environmental future together.
EECOM National Conferences are Canada’s largest, regular gatherings of environmental learning stakeholders, and provide unparalleled professional development and networking opportunities.
Step 3: Actively network
Once you’ve identified someone you want to connect with, it’s time to reach out to them! Here are a few ways you can reach out to someone:
Talk to them at an event:
Events are a great place to network! To help you spark a conversation with people at an event, we've compiled a list of questions you might want to ask - download them here.
Most people have an email these days and check it regularly, making it a good way to reach someone. To help get you started with networking via email, we've created an email template that you can use - download it here. Our top tip when it comes to emailing people, though, is to make it personal! Don't send a generic email to 100 different people; personalize the message so that it piques their interest.
Connect with them on social media:
It seems to be the case that everyone and their dog is on at least one social media platform nowadays so it's likely that you'll be able to find the person you're trying to reach on there too. Keep in mind though that your social media accounts are public, so present yourself in an appropriate and positive way.
Two platforms that we recommend for networking are Twitter and LinkedIn.
Many activists, scientists, politicians, companies and organizations are active on Twitter. As you only get 280 characters per message, Twitter makes networking short and sweet. Comment on someone's tweet with a follow-up thought or a question for them, or tag them in one of your tweets. If they respond, make sure to thank them and then see if there is an opportunity for further discussion - would a meeting to discuss your question be beneficial to both of you? Could you direct message or email them for more information? - If yes, go for it! Many people and organizations will put their email in their Twitter bio or their website where you can contact them.
LinkedIn is a great site for networking, allowing you to make connections, find opportunities, and find groups. Build your network with LinkedIn by joining groups that are relevant to your interests, displaying your activities and skills, following organizations that interest you, and making connections with folks to message them.
Cold calling is when you call someone that you haven’t had prior contact with. Gong.io analyzed the sales conversations of 100,000+ outbound, connected cold calls to find out what top reps do to get a follow-up meeting. While we aren’t exactly working in sales, the tips they have provided based on their research can help you to also get a meeting with someone you’re interested in talking to and potentially collaborating with. Check out the tips here.